Foundations have a long history of investing in the creation and revitalization of neighborhoods. For example, in 1909, the Russell Sage Foundation developed Forest Hills Gardens in Queens, N.Y., as a suburb with “homes for the poor and middleincome workmen of Manhattan” on 142 acres of land.

Almost 90 years later, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation launched its Neighborhood Partners Initiative1 to support sustainable improvements – from enhancing parks, playgrounds, and public safety to...

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